Focus to get performance version

Automotive news reports on Ford's plans for a small sports car.

Auto Tech

Automotive News

GENEVA--Ford Motor said it will produce a global performance car based on the re-engineered, restyled Ford Focus.

"You will be seeing an increasingly global approach to both performance and motorsports from Ford in the future," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of global product development. Kuzak spoke during a Focus presentation on the eve of the Geneva auto show.

Previously, Focus performance models were developed and sold regionally. The Focus SVT was developed in the United States and was sold for several years beginning in 2001. In Europe, Ford developed and sold the Focus ST and RS.

Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president of global marketing, said details about the new performance Focus and the launch timing will be revealed in the coming months. Regular Focus models will go on sale in the United States early next year.

Competitors for the performance model may include such vehicles as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Subaru Impreza WRX, and MazdaSpeed3, Farley said.

Farley said the performance Focus is intended to help change the perception of Ford's vehicles in North America.

"Fun to drive--that is what we stand for in Europe when it comes to passenger cars," he said. "We are not known for that in the United States."

(Source: Automotive News)

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